Former prosecutor Franklin Nieves was interviewed by the Wall Street Journal in a piece published yesterday. The article is behind a pay-wall, but it can be found here.
During the interview, Nieves repeated claims made in a YouTube video he posted last week that the Leopoldo Lopez trial was wholly political, and that the evidence used to prosecute the opposition leader was fabricated. Nieves told the Wall Street Journal:
Leopoldo Lopez is innocent. This was a completely political trial, and it should be annulled (…) Every one of Lopez’s human rights were violated because he was never allowed to present any witnesses, any evidence.
From my heart, I want to ask Venezuela, Leopoldo’s life, his family and specially his children for forgiveness.
Nieves said that he had been unable to sleep properly since Lopez handed himself over to authorities in February of last year, and that his daughter went to the same school as Lopez’s.
As to why he followed government orders to proceed with the Lopez trial in the first place, Nieves said:
Prosecutors and judges fear that if they don’t obey an order, they could be arrested or have fake charges brought against them.
AG: “I’d Defend Myself” at The Hague
Attorney General Luisa Ortega Diaz said earlier today that she would defend herself against any charges brought upon her at the International Criminal Court at The Hague stemming from Franklin Nieves’ recent allegations.
Diaz was asked today about comments by former justice Duque Corridor that her involvement in the fabrication of evidence in political trials could amount to crimes against humanity and that her case should therefore be brought to the attention of the International Criminal Court. Diaz responded:
They can take [the allegations] wherever they are. I’d defend myself.
Diaz also repeated previous assertions that contrary to Nieves’ allegations, he was never pressured to fabricate evidence, and that if he was it was by “national and international” actors bent on destabilizing the country.
Ricardo Hausmann Sues Diosdado Cabello
Economist Ricardo Hausmann’s lawyer filed a lawsuit with the Public Ministry yesterday alleging that National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello broke the law by airing one of his private conversations on national television.
Jose Amalio Graterol, Hausmann’s lawyer, said:
As the Public Ministry has yet to initiate proceedings as this was a public, well-known media event, we are forced to file on behalf of Ricardo Hausmann a formal lawsuit for the crime of undue divulgence of private communications and other serious crimes committed by the named official [Diosdado Cabello], so that the formal complaint can be presented against him by the Tribunal Supremo de Justicia.
The lawsuit stems from the fact Cabello aired excerpts from a private conversation Hausmann had with Lorenzo Mendoza, the head of the Polar company on his television show earlier this month. It is not clear why the conversation was recorded, or how the recording made its way to Cabello’s hands.
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